Every year since NFL free agency was established in 1993, the Cincinnati Bengals have been shopping at Wal Mart and Costco (as Michael Bennett would call it) for the best bargain players they could find.
This is actually a great strategy for a team that's drafted as well as them recently. With a roster full of home-grown talent like Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap and Leon Hall, they're able to supplement the team with value players like Thomas Howard, Terence Newman, Adam Jones and Wallace Gilberry.
Who will that be this year?
Bill Barnwell of Grantland took a look at the best remaining who some lucky team will be able to sign and why --a week after free agency began -- impact players can still be signed:
If history is any guide, it seems to take about a week for the bargains to start showing up. Players who are desperate to avoid losing the real-life game of roster musical chairs call their agents in a panic, insisting upon taking an offer that might have seemed anathema just a few days earlier.
There are built-in advantages to those deals, too; they’re often one-year pacts designed to get the player back out into the free-agency market after a solid season, ensuring a motivated year while limiting the downside risk of dead money that lingers after a poor signing is cut.
They’re also usually signed with the league’s smarter teams, organizations that leave themselves just enough money in their budget to add a valuable piece or two once those pieces’ prices have come down. Some of the best free-agent signings of the year come after the first week has come and gone.
So who fits that bill this year that the Bengals could look?
Broncos defensive end Robert Ayers is coming in for a visit, and based on his Pro Football Focus numbers, he could thrive as a situational pass-rusher with the Bengals.
As the weeks go on, the Bengals will probably kick the tires on several other players who can be had for cheap.